Hemp Ski, Recyclable ski manufacturing from hemp, bio-resin and waste streams

In industrial production for alpine skis, epoxy resins of fossil origin and pre-impregnated glass fiber reinforcements are processed today. Innovations that replace environmentally critical materials in skis with biogenic substitute materials with an improved environmental balance have so far been limited to the production of small series. This circumstance motivated the consortium to develop a solution for a circular bioeconomy with the HempSki project, which will also make industrial ski production from renewable raw materials and waste streams possible in the future.

Short Description

Initial situation

Behind the Austrian ski industry are world market companies with around 2,100 employees and an export quota of 80%. In order to do justice to its leading role as an innovation leader and not to lose the role to innovative competitors in the future, it is important for the domestic ski industry to take measures that help to embark on the path towards circular bioeconomy or to strengthen and sustainably anchor it.

Problem and motivation

Currently ski innovations that replace environmentally critical materials in the ski construction with biogenic materials with improved environmental balance are limited to small series ski processing by the manufactures. The above circumstance motivated the consortium to develop a solution for a circular bioeconomy with the HanfSki project, which will make industrial ski manufacturing from renewable raw materials and waste streams possible in the future.

Objectives and innovation content

Operational objective 1 (closing the loop) is addressed by involving a competent partner in the value chain for the development of an alpine ski made from the renewable raw material hemp. The ski with an improved eco-balance and special qualification of hemp material for industrial production will be developed. The replacement of prepregs made of glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) with environmentally friendly hemp/bio-EP prepregs and a ski core manufacturing from waste streams for ski processing & ski end product will contribute to operational goal 3 (Optimized resource use). The innovation content of the project is to provide a solution for a circular ski manufacturing that combines (i) innovative industrial processing (ii) consistent use of high quality natural hemp fibers that goes beyond a mere damping function, (iii) health/environmental friendly bio-resin impregnated natural fiber prepregs and (iv) finally use of waste streams.

Expected results or findings

The project aims to achieve a goal that an alpine ski can be built in a more ecologically sustainable way. In detail, this is shown by the fact that (i) after switching to renewable raw materials and to the circular economy, the CO2 footprint of an alpine ski will be significantly lower than before (targeted GHG savings of the hemp ski prepreg >= 70 % , for the hemp ski core >= 60 % and for the complete hemp ski >= 50 %), (ii) a sensible use of material for ski waste streams becomes possible (iii) the increasing environmental and climate awareness of end use customers is specifically addressed with a hemp ski. In addition to the hemp ski for the ski market, the hemp ski prepreg material based on non-crimp hemp fibres and bio-based EP resin system as well as the whole ski sandwich construction has great potential to offer an environmentally friendly material alternative to the composite industry in other market segments.

Project Partners

Project management

  • Univ.Prof. Dr. Roman Lackner

Institute/Company

  • Unit of Material Technology Innsbruck, University of Innsbruck

Partners of the project consortium

  • Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH
  • Atomic Austria GmbH
  • Michael HALBFURTER
  • SPURart OG
  • Bio-Composites And More GmbH
  • Sachsenleinen e.V.

Contact Address

Univ.Prof. Dr. Roman Lackner
University of Innsbruck, Unit of Material Technology Innsbruck
TechnikerstraƟe 11/13
6020 Innsbruck

materialtechnologie@uibk.ac.at
+43 512 507-63501
www.uibk.ac.at/mti